Lights go out on ‘Christmas’ Village

It’s that time of year: for shopping and good cheer and, of course, political correctness.

The 3-year-old “Christmas Village” outdoor market at Dilworth Plaza yesterday became the “Holiday Village” after the city says it received many complaints about the name.

“It’s more accurate, makes more sense and is more in keeping with the sense of the holiday,” Managing Director Richard Negrin said, noting that there are also Jewish and Muslim vendors in the village. “This is about being more inclusive.”

Based on a German Christmas village theme, the collection of wooden shops operates Thanksgiving through Christmas Eve right outside City Hall.

But Negrin would not say exactly who had a problem with the name. Some of the largest religious groups in the city didn’t see the original name as a concern.

“I really don’t see it as offensive. There are times when we do have to realize we live in a country that is predominately Christian and Christmas is coming up,” said Adam Kessler, of the Jewish Community Relations Council of the Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia.

One woman passing through the village yesterday wondered if it was political correctness gone too far.

“It should be Christmas Village. It started out as Christmas Village,” said Southwest Philadelphia resident Terri Scabo. “I’m offended by Halloween. Are they going to shut that down?”

‘Holiday tree’ now?

The city doesn’t seem to have a universal take on the name of the centerpiece for its ceremonial tree-lighting.

Negrin said the city would not change the name of the Christmas tree, which Mayor Michael Nutter will ceremonially light tomorrow.

But a release by the City Representative’s Office yesterday described it as “the city holiday tree.” It didn’t use the word Christmas at all.

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